This bit of lateral thinking will save the U.K. Government from looking
totally incompetent and give the appearance of dealing with the
problem. First the problem
"The latest Government Department to admit to losing" personal information is the Department for Work and Pensions. Once again it's the old problem of copying information on to laptops or data sticks. The fact that individuals feel that they need their "own" copy of data shows that they don't understand how multi-user databases work".
The fact that they are able to make these copies shows that their IT
managers are running systems with all the security of free music
download sites. Why not do the simple thing. Hold data centrally,
make sure you employ adults to ensure its integrity. Give your
employees impressive looking devices to make sure that you can control
and monitor who logs into the database and disable the ability to store
information on laptops or data sticks.
I put this in quotes because I use this EVERY time a U.K. Department repeats the SAME basic security error.
Now the solution. The most effective way of dealing with this problem is to
assume that every data stick contains confidential Government data and
that anyone having one is a criminal. This turns it into a problem that
the Government knows how to solve. Usual routine. Rush through
legislation in the afternoon. By evening have a profile of the offender
( we are talking contractors here so lets go for young,arrogant,male,
BMW, aversion to documentation) and by the next day we can start
producing statistics showing how the police are reaching their target
of controlling the menace of stick crime.